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effect of sugar on kids' teeth

Too Many Sweets? The Harmful Effect of Sugar on Kids’ Teeth

All kids like the occasional treat, but too many high-sugar snacks can have a major impact on their health. Experts recommend that children consume less than six teaspoons of added sugars per day, which is the equivalent of about 25 grams or 100 calories. Consuming more than the recommended amount can significantly reduce their risk of developing a wide range of health problems, including tooth decay. While we all know that sugar is bad for our children’s health, just how bad is it?

How Tooth Decay Develops

The mouth is full of bacteria, many which are beneficial to your unique oral environment. However, the ‘bad’ bacteria can wreak havoc on teeth if you consume the wrong foods in excess. When you consume sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar, creating acids that destroy tooth enamel. Over time, the acids will create a hole in the tooth. If left untreated, the hole can reach the deeper layers of the tooth causing pain and eventually tooth loss.

The Fight Against Tooth Decay

While the teeth are highly susceptible to damage, your mouth does have some defenses it uses to fight back. When acids attack teeth, they leech minerals from the enamel in a process known as demineralization. In the early stages of demineralization, the damage is often reversible. Saliva, fluoride, and other components work together to strengthen the teeth in a process referred to as remineralization. However, if your child eats lots of sweets and starches each day the teeth may not recover from damage.

Common Cavity Symptoms

Don’t think just because your child isn’t complaining of a toothache that there are no cavities. In fact, a child can have an established cavity with no pain or discomfort whatsoever. It can take months or even years before a cavity causes noticeable pain. That is because the nerve fibers that send pain throughout the body are not located in the enamel. It isn’t until the acids eat through the enamel and into the dentin that the nerve fibers begin to send out pain signals. By the time this happens, tooth decay is present.

While many children have no symptoms of tooth decay, others may experience:

  • Toothache
  • Dull pain in the mouth
  • Hot and cold sensitivity
  • Pain when biting down
  • Visible holes or pits in the teeth

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a preventable condition in both children and adults. Nutrition is a highly important part of oral health. Parents should serve balanced meals high in whole grains and protein. Limit sugary foods and drinks. While cookies and candies are okay for an occasional snack, they not should be a daily treat. If your child still drinks from a bottle or sippy cup, avoid sugary beverages like juice. Remember that even milk in excess can cause tooth decay. Whenever possible, give your child water instead of sugary beverages.

Brushing is also highly important for the prevention of tooth decay in children. Regular brushing helps to wash away sugars and acids in the mouth and prevents a buildup of bacteria-riddled plaque on the teeth. Consult with your child’s dentist if you’re concerned about cavities or you suspect that your child may have tooth decay.

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fluoride helps and hurts oral health

How Fluoride Helps and Possibly Hurts Your Oral Health

Fluoride is one of the many minerals found in water and many types of foods. It also has an essential role in the remineralization of your teeth’s enamel and can interrupt the harmful production of acid on your teeth. While it is important to be aware of how fluoride contributes to your oral health, you should also know of the ways it may be harmful.

Fluoride for Better Oral Health

Early Development of Teeth

Recent research indicates children aged six months to 16 years with developing teeth can benefit from the exposure to fluoride, which can strengthen their growing teeth. Adults should also make sure that the dental products they use contains the right amount of fluoride as the mineral is just as important in combatting tooth decay.

Use of Certain Orthodontic Treatments

Treatments such as braces, bridges or crowns can expose the vulnerable parts of your teeth, putting them at risk of decay. Areas surrounding the brackets of orthodontic appliances, or where the crown touches the underlying tooth structure, can be breeding grounds for bacteria and should be treated with dental products containing fluoride.

Chronic Dry Mouth

Constantly having a dry mouth can be the result of some medical conditions, treatments, and medicine. Because there is a lack of saliva, it can be more difficult for your mouth to neutralize harmful acids and wash away small bits of food. Using dental products with fluoride, including toothpaste and mouthwashes, can help restore the pH of the mouth and remove the food particles that bacteria feeds on.

Fluoride as an Oral Health Hazard

Toxic Doses

Fluoride is only beneficial to your oral health when it is being used as directed. Toxic doses of fluoride will depend on a person’s weight and can result in significant health issues. Because it can be easier for younger children to consume extremely high doses of fluoride due to fluorinated water, their tendency to accidentally swallow toothpaste and the consumption of processed foods containing fluoride, it is necessary that they are carefully supervised, particularly when using dental products that contain fluoride.

Fluorosis

This condition typically occurs in children aged six months to 16 years. It creates streaks and specks on the teeth that can range from a hardly visible, whitish color to a very noticeable brown. Fluorosis does not cause pain, and in mild cases, may not impair the health of the teeth. In these situations, the main concern will be cosmetic. To have the marks removed, it will be necessary to have them treated with professional-grade abrasives and whiteners available only at your dentist’s office. For individuals who have moderate to severe cases of fluorosis, the concentration of fluoride on the teeth can be so high that the porosity of the enamel increases to the degree that the teeth become physically damaged and begin to crumble.

If you have concerns about fluoride and your teeth, or if your see white streaks on your children’s teeth, you should consult your dentist. You dentist will address any concerns you have about your oral health.

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mouth body connection

The Mouth-Body Connection Could Not Be Stronger

With toothpaste ads hyper focused on fresh-smelling breath and dazzling white teeth, it’s easy to forget that the benefits of maintaining proper oral hygiene extend far beyond minty breath and pearly whites. In fact, because poor oral health can contribute to various other health issues, it becomes even more crucial to develop healthy oral habits. Need extra motivation to brush twice a day? Just read these six health issues that are affected by a good oral hygiene routine (or lack thereof).

Reduced risk of heart disease

A 2007 study published in the Harvard Health Publications linked chronic gum inflammation with heart disease. In particular, the bacteria that is known to cause periodontitis is also present in the dangerous plaque build-ups in blocked arteries. Other cardiovascular issues that can develop in conjunction with heart disease include blocked vessels and strokes. Improving oral health, particularly gum disease lowers your risk of these cardiovascular problems.

Reduce complications from diabetes

Individuals with diabetes often find it difficult for their bodies to fight infections. As poor oral health often leads to inflammation and infections, it becomes that much more difficult for a person with diabetes to fight an oral infection. Prevent gum infections by creating a proper oral routine that includes brushing after each meal and flossing daily.

Improved lung health

Just because an infection begins in your mouth doesn’t mean that the bacteria stay in your mouth. Bacteria from oral infections can easily travel to the lungs, which then increases lung problems such as inflammation. If you suspect you have an infection, call your dentist immediately before the infection grows and spreads.

Pregnancy and birth weight

While morning sickness may create its challenges by exposing the teeth to high acid levels, excellent oral health is vital for maintaining optimal health for both a pregnant mother and the baby. Experts have shown that mothers with gingivitis are at risk to give birth to babies with low birth weight. Remember to keep routine dental appointments during pregnancy and ask your dentist any questions you have regarding pregnancy and oral health.

Reduce inflammation and joint pain

While it may seem odd that inflammation and pain in joints are connected to oral health, studies show that poor oral health contributes to inflammation elsewhere in the body, and that includes joints. Particularly, the study focuses on Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that causes painful joint swelling. How are these two conditions linked? Scientists believe that the method of tissue destruction in gum disease is the same method of destruction in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Improve mental health and memory

Perhaps the most obvious – yet least discussed –effect of poor oral health is on mental health. Poor hygiene, especially in the cases of decayed teeth, leads to extremely noxious breath, which can create embarrassing social situations and low self-esteem. On the other hand, a mouth free from infections, pain, or decay increases self-esteem and confidence. In addition to increased confidence, good oral health also affects memory; gingivitis has been linked to poorer scores on memory tests.

Keeping your mouth clean is more than just improving your smile; the mouth-body relationship is one that will improve your overall health.

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dental emergency

When Do You Have a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can usually be treated if you contact your dentist in Westfield, NJ right away. But how do you know if you have a dental emergency, or if you should wait until your next dental visit? Here are four examples of dental emergencies that you should never delay notifying the professionals at Creative Dental Care.

1. You Cracked or Broke a Tooth

Even those with healthy teeth and a long history of consistent dentist visits can experience a moment when a tooth gets broken or cracked. Lots of things can cause a crack or a broken tooth. Some of the most common include accidentally biting down on something hard, like a small pebble in a batch of cooked beans, a popcorn seed, overcooked fried chicken, chewing ice, roughhousing, bicycle or motor vehicle accidents, and of course sports injuries. This dental emergency can quickly lead to severe dental pain, nerve damage in the tooth, and possible infection. If you experience a cracked or broken tooth, call your dentist as soon as possible to get the tooth fixed.

2. A Tooth Fell Out or Was Knocked Out

It’s possible to suddenly lose a tooth that you didn’t even think was loose. Sports and other physical activities can lead to a tooth accidentally getting knocked out, too. If one or more of your teeth comes out, call your dentist right away and explain the urgency to the receptionist so you can get in to see the dentist on an emergency basis. While you’re waiting, handle the tooth as little as possible, because the dentist may be able to put it back in. When you make your appointment, ask for their recommendation about how to best transport the tooth on the way to the dentist office.

3. You’re Experiencing a Severe Toothache

It seems like the worst toothaches come on out of the blue, either during a weekend or on vacation. But your dentist doesn’t want you to have to wait until the office officially opens if you have a severe toothache that’s preventing you from doing anything at all. This is a dental emergency that should be taken care of as soon as possible. At the very least, if your dentist can’t get to you, they will likely be able to prescribe a pain killer so you can get relief from the excruciating pain of a toothache until they can treat you in the office.

4. You’ve Developed Oral Bleeding That Won’t Stop

It’s common to experience minimal bleeding when you brush too hard. But if you suddenly experience a gush of blood that won’t seem to stop, it’s urgent to contact your dentist right away. This is a dental emergency that requires immediate care and treatment so the dentist can find out the underlying cause.

When a dental emergency arises, contact Creative Dental Care right away. Don’t hesitate because you think you’re bothering the dental office, or try to live with a dental emergency by yourself. The sooner you get help for a dental emergency, the better off you’ll be.

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man brushing sensitive teeth

10 Ways to Relieve Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a condition that occurs when your gums recede or when the protective enamel of your teeth is worn down, and the dentin is exposed. Cold air as well as cold, hot or very acidic substances that come into contact with the dentin of the teeth can result in severe tooth pain or sensitivity. However, there are ways you can reduce the sensitivity and alleviate the pain.

1. Change Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes that are hard-bristled and toothpaste that is too abrasive can be harsh for sensitive teeth and can increase the symptoms of the condition. Begin using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a gentler toothpaste and brush your teeth by moving the brush gently in a back and forth motion.

2. Be Careful of What You Consume

There are certain foods and drinks you should avoid if you have sensitive teeth. They include any foods that are highly acidic, such as coffee, pickles, fruits and carbonated drinks. If you are unable to avoid them, try to restrict how much contact the substances have with your teeth.

3. Get Treatment for Gum Recession

When your gums recede, the roots are exposed, and the protective cementum may be worn away. Your dentist can recommend treatments, such as tissue grafts, to restore your gumline.

4. Wear a Mouth Guard

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can result in sensitive teeth by wearing away the tooth enamel. You can reduce the effects of bruxism by wearing a mouth guard, which can be obtained from your local drug store.

5. Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties and can be used to reduce the harmful bacteria that are in your mouth, and as a result, reduce your teeth sensitivity. Simply place about one tablespoon of the oil in your mouth and move it around for 20 minutes.

6. Salt Water

While quickly alleviating your tooth sensitivity symptoms, swishing a solution of salt water around in your mouth can also create an alkaline environment that is inhabitable to harmful bacteria. This should be done twice a day until you have the results you want.

7. Use Toothpaste Made for Sensitive Teeth

There are several brands of toothpaste made specifically for sufferers of tooth sensitivity. The active ingredient, potassium nitrate, aids in blocking the very small tubules in the dentin.

8. Inquire about Painted Teeth

Ask your dentist if you are a candidate for having fluoride varnish, plastic resins or other desensitizing agents painted on your sensitive teeth. Be mindful that you will have to get the barrier reapplied as the material tends to wear off.

9. Cloves and Clove Oil

Cloves are anti-inflammatory and have anesthetic properties that make them ideal for alleviating tooth sensitivity. A paste containing the herb can be applied to the affected teeth, or you can rinse your mouth with a solution of clove oil and water twice a day.

10. Garlic

Garlic contains a high concentration of allicin, a natural anesthetic and it can be applied in the same manner as cloves.

There is no need to endure the pain of tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist which treatment may work best for you.

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woman drinking water with sensitive teeth

5 Reasons You are Experiencing Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can make you worry that a root canal is in your future, but even deep and throbbing sensations can be triggered by far less severe dental problems. Visiting the dentist is not always necessary for short-term tooth sensitivity because you may be able to figure out the cause on your own. Of course, there are just as many causes that do require a dentist’s help to fix. Your painful responses to cold drinks and hot foods could be caused by any of these five triggers.

Damaged Enamel

Any habits that damage the clear protective layer of enamel on the outside of your teeth will lead to sensitivity. This can include chewing on pen tops or other hard objects, eating too many acidic foods and drinks, soda consumption, chewing of sunflower seeds and tobacco, and more. Some people are also born with weak or missing enamel and experience tooth pain from an early age. If your enamel damage can’t be stopped or is too serious, the dentist can apply a sealant to offer a new coating to protect the nerves.

Chips and Cracks

As with missing enamels, even microscopic cracks in damaged teeth can stress the internal nerves of a tooth and cause pain. This kind of pain is often experienced as sensitivity, but may also come and go or become constant if infection sets in. Chips also have a chance to create the same kind of pain when the damage goes deep enough. Having a dental inspection after a car accident, fall or other jarring impacts to your mouth can catch these problems early.

Cavities

Since chips and cracks can cause sensitive reactions, it’s not surprising that cavities can do the same. Allowing a cavity to go too long without filling increases the chances of it reaching the root and causing a serious infection that is best treated with a root canal. This is why it’s so important to stick to the usual six month routine for cleaning at the dentist’s office. Once a cavity is reacting to temperatures and sugar, it’s a sign that it’s deep enough to reach the nerve tissue. It’s better to have your teeth checked before anything is visible or causing pain instead of waiting that long.

Tooth Grinding

With a little inspection, your dentist can quickly determine whether you’re clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth or not. Many people do it unconsciously in response to stress, and nighttime tooth grinding has become a common problem in recent decades. Grinding the surface of the teeth down wears the enamel away and creates sensitivities. Leaving the problem along results in further damage like broken roots, cracked molars, and more.

Whitening Pastes

Finally, your whitening toothpaste or those home whitening gels could be the source of your new dental pain. Sensitivities are a known side effect of these treatments, and many home products cause lifelong sensitivity that must be treated with regular applications of numbing toothpaste and creams. Stick to professional whitening only for a much lower risk of these kinds of unwanted side effects.

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causes of misaligned teeth

Why You Have Misaligned Teeth and What You Can Do

PART 1 – WHY YOU HAVE MISALIGNED TEETH

Your teeth are meant to fit within your mouth with no spacing or crowding issues so that they can function as they should. They should be in a straight position with no twisting or rotation. The teeth in your upper jaw should also form a slight overlap with the teeth in your lower jaw to allow your molars to meet correctly.

The Disadvantages of Misaligned Teeth

Any misalignment, or malocclusion, in your teeth, can result in a wide range of oral health complications. It can interfere with how well you can chew your food and can make cleaning your teeth more difficult, exposing you to the increase chances of having cavities, gingivitis or tooth decay. It can also be a source of embarrassment, making your feel self-conscious about your smile and overall appearance.

Causes of Misaligned Teeth

  • Lower and upper jaws that are malformed or are not the same size
  • Trauma that results in jaw misalignment
  • Abnormally shaped teeth
  • Extended bottle feeding during early childhood
  • Thumb sucking during early childhood
  • Genetics
  • Regular use of the pacifier after the age of three
  • Improperly fitted devices, such as crowns, fillings or braces

PART 2 – WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CORRECT YOUR MISALIGNED TEETH

The treatment of misaligned teeth during childhood is most effective as it can prevent alignment issues that can be very difficult and expensive to resolve in the future. Children who are at least seven years old may be treated with the correct dental appliance to straighten their teeth.

The type of treatment you receive will depend heavily on the type of misaligned teeth you have. Cases in which the misalignment of the teeth is very slight may not require treatment. Mild cases of misaligned teeth may require the use of dentures, crowns, veneers or bridges to improve the alignment of your teeth and jaw. However, for most cases, especially those in which the misalignment is severe, you may be treated with braces.

Each of the various types of braces is used to correct a particular misalignment issue. The type of braces your orthodontist may recommend will depend on your unique teeth and personal needs:

  • Invisible Aligners: These types of braces are best used for mild cases of misaligned teeth. With their clear color, they are almost unnoticeable. They are removable and can be more costly than other types of braces.
  • Fixed Braces: These can be made from metal or ceramic. A bracket is attached to the front of each affected front tooth in the upper and lower jaws and is linked together using orthodontic wires. Metal braces are less expensive and more effective than ceramic braces. However, ceramic braces tend to look more natural.
  • Lingual Braces: These are fixed metal braces that are used to treatment misalignment of the back teeth. They may be more suitable for adults and can be a challenge to keep clean.

Cases of misaligned teeth are treatable for both children and adults. Speak with your dentist to determine which treatment options are most suitable for you.

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crooked teeth

7 Ways Crooked Teeth Affect Your Oral Health

Crooked teeth affect far more than your appearance. The American Dental Association has confirmed that crooked teeth can be detrimental to your overall dental health. Here are seven ways that crooked teeth affect your oral health.

1. Red, Swollen Gums

Crooked teeth can lead to red, swollen gums. Gum health is as much a part of oral health as your teeth. When you have crooked teeth, the part of the tooth that you can’t see—that is hidden beneath the gum line—is crooked, too. This crookedness can lead to gum irritation and inflammation, which shows itself as red and swollen gums. When your gums are in this sensitive condition, you can’t properly clean teeth along the gum line, which further increases the odds of poor oral health.

2. Interference with Proper Chewing

It’s challenging or impossible to chew properly when you have crooked teeth. The chewing process relies on a carefully aligned jaw and teeth. Proper contact between the upper and lower teeth is essential to ensure that chewing occurs the way it should. With crooked teeth, bites of food aren’t chewed correctly. This can lead to problems with digestion and even nourishment, as well.

3. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

The misalignment of crooked teeth can easily lead to increased risk of tooth decay. The crookedness of the teeth inhibits proper brushing and flossing, increasing the likelihood that food remains between teeth even after brushing.

4. Increased Chances of Chronic Halitosis

When you can’t brush and floss teeth efficiently, as is the case with crooked teeth, the chances of developing chronic halitosis are increased. Halitosis, or bad breath as it is commonly called, occurs as the result of poor dental hygiene, which can be a direct outcome of crooked teeth.

5. Excessive Jaw Strain and Pain

Persons with crooked teeth often unconsciously adjust their jaw movement to enable easier chewing or speaking. This constant adjustment can lead to jaw strain and pain that sometimes even gets so bad it can become a condition known as TMJ.

6. Increased Likelihood of Cracking or Breaking a Tooth

Since crooked teeth don’t fit together right, there is an increased likelihood of cracking or breaking a tooth. This happens because the person is constantly trying to readjust the position of their jaw to speak or eat. Subsequently, the inordinate connection and contact on teeth can lead to tooth fractures and chipping.

7. Progression of Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease

The poor oral hygiene that comes from having crooked teeth can quickly lead to the progression of gingivitis or periodontal disease. These two stages of teeth and gum disease are extremely serious and threatening to overall health as well as oral health. Gingivitis may be treated, but with crooked teeth, the chances of it returning are very high. Periodontal disease can ultimately lead to the need for oral surgery or even tooth loss.

If you’ve been delaying treatment for crooked teeth, it’s time to act. Getting crooked teeth fixed isn’t an act of vanity. It’s a responsible thing to do that will help to ensure you have good oral health and overall health.

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signs of impacted wisdom teeth

5 Warning Signs That Your Wisdom Teeth May Be Impacted

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

The Wisdom Teeth are the third and last molars and the last permanent teeth to emerge. They are located on each side of the lower and upper jaws and usually begin to come in during the late teenage years or the early twenties.

About Impacted Teeth

The eruption of your wisdom teeth can be painful, but impacted wisdom teeth can present even more of a challenge. Impacted teeth are those that are trying to emerge through the gums but are unable to do so properly because there is not enough room, either because of the jawbone or because of the positioning of adjacent teeth. As a result, the wisdom teeth become stuck in the jawbone as the roots continue to grow longer, causing significant pain.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There are some signs that you may lead you to believe that you have impacted teeth. If you are experiencing any dental pain, it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible. The early detection of impacted wisdom teeth can save you from further pain and the spread of infection as the condition worsens.

Constant Pain at Sites of Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can result in a pulsing pain that radiates from the areas of the mouth from where the wisdom teeth should emerge. If the condition is allowed to develop, the pain can spread as nearby teeth are affected by the impacted wisdom teeth.

Swollen Jaw

Initially, the swelling of the jaw may be little. However, as the condition progresses, the swelling will increase so that it begins to affect how well you can open your mouth or make chewing motions.

Cysts

The presence of a cyst is a glaring indication that you should speak to your dentist regarding your wisdom teeth. The sac from which your wisdom teeth grow can become filled with fluid when the teeth become impacted. This can cause not only pain but infections in adjacent teeth.

Headaches

The sudden presence of a headache, especially in addition to other symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, should not be ignored. A headache may stem from your temporomandibular joint, the area where your skull and jaw meet, and that is near where the wisdom teeth should be emerging.

Painful Gums

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause your gums to become very tender to the touch and swollen. If pressure is applied to an affected area of your gums, you may start to bleed. Having gums in this condition can make routine dental care practices, such as brushing and flossing, extremely painful, especially in the back areas of the gums that can be difficult to clean under normal circumstances. Because impacted wisdom teeth are particularly prone to infection, your gums may also become susceptible to gum diseases.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Professional dental care is required for your symptoms to be alleviated. Postponing a visit at your dentist’s office can result in a worsened condition and a possible spread of infection.

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choosing the right toothpaste

Your Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Toothpaste

All of the toothpaste on the market today is designed to clean your teeth, but not all of them accomplish that task equally. Some products have the potential to harm your teeth, while others simply don’t do enough to protect your teeth. Determine the right balance of extra features and core cleaning power to find the toothpaste that is best for you.

ADA Approval

First, make sure you choose a product approved by the American Dental Association and displaying the seal on its packaging. There are plenty of fluoride-free, organic, and all natural options tested by the ADA for both safety and effectiveness at keeping the teeth clean. Products without these seals have not necessarily been tested for their claims and quality, so you’re gambling with the health of your mouth by using them.

Focus on Needs

Consider what your teeth need the most to choose a toothpaste with the right extras. Whitening toothpaste can’t always replace professional whitening from a dentist, but it does work to prevent surface stains that cause your white smile to lose its brightness after treatment. Most toothpastes tend to target one of more of the following conditions or needs:

  • Sensitivity, in the gums and teeth, from mild to severe pain
  • Fluoride products are essential for kids, adults who don’t get enough of it in their diet, and people with diabetes and many other conditions
  • Anti-cavity, which most products cover but which should always be checked
  • Anti-gingivitis, ranging from over the counter to prescription products for healthier gums.

Watch Out

There are a few products you don’t want to use on your teeth, and they’re often sold as cosmetic products rather than medically tested toothpaste. Any whitening toothpaste with a very abrasive ingredient, ranging from natural walnut shell to plastic microbeads, can leave your teeth with enamel damage that is permanent and hard to treat. Activated charcoal powders can also discolor teeth along with eroding your enamel. Look for toothpaste products that reinforce enamel rather than damaging it.

Picking a Toothbrush

Of course, the toothpaste still needs to be applied to the teeth with the right tools to effectively protect you from cavities and gum disease. The wrong toothbrush can damage your enamel, scratch your gums, or fail to remove trapped food from between your molars. Only use soft bristled brushes unless given advice from your dentist to the contrary. For most people, stiff bristles are too hard for their gums. The tip of each bristle should be rounded and not pointed or square so that food debris and tartar comes loose with each sweep. Replace your brush every three months even if it still looks new and fresh since bacteria can build up over time.

Need more advice about what to do to take care of your teeth? Make an appointment with your dentist for a routine cleaning or a timely inspection. You can discuss your concerns without feeling rushed and determine if your current oral health practices are sufficient for keeping your smile bright, healthy, and strong.

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